outfitting the slave ship sally

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Outfitting the Slave Ship SALLY Lesson developed by The Rhode Island Historical Society, in collaboration with The Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery. www.rihs.org. www.tracingcenter.org. 11/10 Who was involved in preparing a Rhode Island ship for a voyage to Africa to procure captured Africans for sale in the United States and Caribbean? Overview: This activity, Outfitting the Slave Ship Sally, is a short in-class activity suitable for middle and high school students, though easily adapted for older and younger groups—in and out of the classroom. The objective of this lesson is to (1) familiarize participants with many of the people and materials needed to prepare a ship for a slave trading voyage in the eighteenth century and (2) to illustrate in a physical way the web of complicity from farms to the sea in the global enterprise of the slave trade. Materials Needed: -List of “Outfitting the Sally” -Numbered cards cut apart -Long length of yarn that can reach all participants and cover spaces in between (will depend upon space and number of students) -Large enough space for participants to stand in a circle Rhode Island Standards: C&G 2 (9-12) 2.c C&G 5 (7-8) 2.b C&G 5 (7-8) 1.a HP 1 (7-8) 1.b HP 1 (9-12) 1.a, 1.b, 1.c HP 2 (7-8) 1.c HP 2 (7-8) 2.b HP 3 (7-8) 2.b Process: -Cut cards provided with this lesson into individual sections -Shuffle deck -Pass out to participants (one or two cards each, but no more) -Ask them to get into a large circle and keep the card with them -Explain to them that preparing a voyage of a slave ship was not an individual endeavor, but involved an entire community and they are going to see how the web of complicity was made -Leader should have the yarn at this point and leader will act as “runner” or should assign a student to the task -Each card is numbered; ask the students to read them off in numeric order (not how they are standing, but according to the number on the individual card) -Give the student who is reading the yarn and ask then to grab hold of it and not let go to their “point” in the yarn -When the next student reads, have the “runner” hand the yarn to the next person -A “web” will begin to develop -Proceed in this way until you exhaust the list -Discuss what they see

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Page 1: Outfitting the Slave Ship SALLY

Outfitting the Slave Ship SALLY

Lesson developed by The Rhode Island Historical Society, in collaboration with The Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery.

www.rihs.org. www.tracingcenter.org. 11/10

Who was involved in preparing a Rhode Island ship for a voyage to Africa to procure captured Africans for sale in the United States and Caribbean?

Overview: This activity, Outfitting the Slave Ship Sally, is a short in-class activity suitable for middle and high school students, though easily adapted for older and younger groups—in and out of the classroom. The objective of this lesson is to (1) familiarize participants with many of the people and materials needed to prepare a ship for a slave trading voyage in the eighteenth century and (2) to illustrate in a physical way the web of complicity from farms to the sea in the global enterprise of the slave trade. Materials Needed: -List of “Outfitting the Sally” -Numbered cards cut apart -Long length of yarn that can reach all participants and cover spaces in between (will depend upon space and number of students) -Large enough space for participants to stand in a circle Rhode Island Standards: C&G 2 (9-12) 2.c C&G 5 (7-8) 2.b C&G 5 (7-8) 1.a

HP 1 (7-8) 1.b HP 1 (9-12) 1.a, 1.b, 1.c HP 2 (7-8) 1.c HP 2 (7-8) 2.b HP 3 (7-8) 2.b

Process: -Cut cards provided with this lesson into individual sections -Shuffle deck -Pass out to participants (one or two cards each, but no more) -Ask them to get into a large circle and keep the card with them -Explain to them that preparing a voyage of a slave ship was not an individual endeavor, but involved an entire community and they are going to see how the web of complicity was made -Leader should have the yarn at this point and leader will act as “runner” or should assign a student to the task -Each card is numbered; ask the students to read them off in numeric order (not how they are standing, but according to the number on the individual card) -Give the student who is reading the yarn and ask then to grab hold of it and not let go to their “point” in the yarn -When the next student reads, have the “runner” hand the yarn to the next person -A “web” will begin to develop -Proceed in this way until you exhaust the list -Discuss what they see

Page 2: Outfitting the Slave Ship SALLY

Primary Documents Details from these and other documents were used in creating the activity list. These

documents, and the entire “Voyage of the Slave Ship SALLY collection, can be found online at: http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/sally/.

“Providence September 11 1764 Invoice of Sundry Merchandise Shipt on bord the brigantine Sally Esek Hopkins Master bound for the Coast of Africa by Nichs Brown & Co. which Goc on their account J Presque Consignd to the said Master”

Manifest of the brig SALLY

Page 3: Outfitting the Slave Ship SALLY

Outfitting the Sally 1. Investors provided financial backing for voyage –

Nicholas Brown and Company (the four Brown brothers =

Nicholas, John, Moses, and Joseph)

2. 185 barrels of Rum – from a Newport, RI distiller (approx

17,275 gallons)

3. 30 casks of bread – from George Gibbs, Newport baker

4. 1 large iron pot

5. Sailmakers – Robert Bell of Providence

6. 1,800 onions

7. 51 loaves of sugar

8. 40 barrels of flour (approx. 200lbs each)

9. 10 hogshead of tobacco (approx. 1000lbs each)

10. 15 crew members – includes Esek Hopkins (master),

Sam Ward (“fore the mast”), James York (mate), Abraham

Hawkins (carpenter), Edward Abbie (“negrow boy”)

Page 4: Outfitting the Slave Ship SALLY

11. 40 handcuffs and 40 shackles

12. 7 swivel guns

13. 96 lbs of coffee

14. 300 iron hoops

15. 30 boxes of spermaceti candles – from the Brown family’s

candleworks in Providence

16. 25 casks of rice

17. Medical Supplies – from Jabez Bowen Jr. of Providence

18. 24 barrels of beef

19. Ship Caulkers – Joshua Smith of Providence

20. Sheeting the brigantine’s hull – William Cookoe of

Providence

Page 5: Outfitting the Slave Ship SALLY

1. Investors provided financial backing for voyage – Nicholas Brown and

Company (the four Brown brothers = Nicholas, John, Moses, and Joseph)

2. 185 barrels of Rum – from a Newport, RI distiller (approx.

17,275 gallons)

Page 6: Outfitting the Slave Ship SALLY

3. 30 casks of bread – from George Gibbs, Newport baker

4. 1 large iron pot

Page 7: Outfitting the Slave Ship SALLY

6. 1,800 onions

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the towns of Whethersfield, Connecticut and Bristol, Rhode Island led the way in onion production. Onions were used for many medicinal purposes. Some of them include cough relief during colds and use as poultices for drawing poisons from wounds and ulcers. Onion poultices were used on the soles of the feet to reduce high fevers or placed on the chest to relieve congestion. One ancient remedy included onion tea to relieve cholera, fevers, and headaches, as well as being treatments for gout, arthritis, soothing burns, and speeding healing. It is now believed that the Vitamin C content of the onions helped sailors fight off scurvy, it is thus known as an “antiscorbutic,” which explains why ships carried so many.

5. Sailmakers – Robert Bell of Providence

Page 8: Outfitting the Slave Ship SALLY

7. 51 loaves of sugar

Sugar was a highly prized commodity of the 18th century and it is most likely that the Browns

would have had access to great quanitities of sugar grown in the West Indies.

8. 40 barrels of flour (approx. 200lbs each)

Page 9: Outfitting the Slave Ship SALLY

9. 10 hogshead of tobacco (approx. 1000lbs each)

Beginning in the 17thcentury, Bristish colonists were growing shade, or Indian, tobacco, in

Connecticut, particularly near the town of Enfield, in what is now known as the Tobacco Valley.

This tobacco was not as prized as that from the West Indies, particularly Cuba. But, in 1762 a

Connecticut man began growing Cuban tobacco in the colony. It is not known if the Browns

would have shipped shade tobacco on the Sally, if the Cuban tobacco crops would have had time

enough to grow in Connecticut to be shipped, or if instead they were shipping Cuban tobacco

from the West Indian islands with which they were already trading heavily.

10.

15 crew members – includes Esek Hopkins (master), Sam Ward (“fore the mast”), James York (mate), Abraham Hawkins (carpenter), Edward

Abbie (“negrow boy”)

(Admiral Esek Hopkins)

Page 10: Outfitting the Slave Ship SALLY

11. 40 handcuffs and 40 shackles

12. 7 swivel guns

Swivel guns were found on most ships of this period. Sailors could pivot these small, mounted cannons to fend off pirates and other attackers. On slave ships they could also be used against slave risings and insurrections, as happened on the Sally.

Page 11: Outfitting the Slave Ship SALLY

14. 300 iron hoops

Iron hoops like these were used to lash around wooden staves to make barrels.

Abraham Hawkins, the carpenter, was on board and could fashion more wood, but

iron hoops would have to be made before the journey.

13. 96 lbs of coffee

This is an image of an 18th century coffee husking machine, or “piladora.” Machines like this

were used in Puerto Rico and throughout the West Indies and South America where coffee was

grown and exported.

Page 12: Outfitting the Slave Ship SALLY

15. 30 boxes of spermaceti candles – from the Brown family’s

candleworks in Providence

Spermaceti oil comes from a wax found in the head cavities of sperm whales. The Brown’s

brother-in-law, Dr. David, or John, Vanderlight, perfected a technique for making spermaceti

candles and the Browns used this method at their candleworks. The spermaceti itself most likely

came from the whalers on Nantucket. Spermaceti candles were becoming the standard candle

to use because they were not terribly smoky and they did not smell as awful as earlier animal fat-

based candles did.

16. 25 casks of rice

Rice was brought to North America by European colonists in 1694. It soon became

Georgia’s staple crop; South Carolina was second in rates of production. Because of

the Brown’s network related to the provisioning, or West Indies, trade, they would

have been able to trade for this grain along the Atlantic coast.

Page 13: Outfitting the Slave Ship SALLY

17. Medical Supplies – from Jabez Bowen Jr. of Providence

Slave ships needed to have either a doctor or medical equipment on board every ship. The

African coast was a dangerous place. There was always the threat of insurrection, but there were

also many diseases rampant, such as malaria, Yellow Fever, and dysentery. The huge, British

slave ships would have a doctor on board, but the smaller Rhode Island ships would simply carry

a medicine chest that contained necessities, like laudanum (a mixture of rum and opium) and

calomel (mercury chloride). These drugs would be used to treat crew and, perhaps, contagious captives.

18. 24 barrels of beef

Meat in general, and beef in particular, was more available to people in the North

American colonies than it was in Europe. For use on ships, the beef would most

likely be dried, made into jerky, and put in barrels. South County in Rhode Island

was a leading producer of cattle and dairy cows during this period.

Page 14: Outfitting the Slave Ship SALLY

19.

Ship Caulkers – Joshua Smith of Providence

Oakum, fibers (often from unraveled ropes) covered in tar, would be used by men

called “caulkers” to caulk, or pack, the joints of timber in a wooden vessel to make it

watertight and, therefore, seaworthy.

20. Sheeting the brigantine’s hull – William Cookoe of Providence

Copper was used to cover the hulls of ships, the area most thoroughly submerged in water. The

copper protected the wood from rot and also made the boat much less attractive to marine life,

such as barnacles, that would normally attach themselves to vessels.

At this time, the terms brigs and brigantine were interchangable: a two-masted merhant vessel.

Now the two terms refer to distinct types of ships with different rigging.

In West Africa, people often named their children for the day of their birth, boys born on

Wednesday were often named Quacko. It is possible, therefore, that “Cookoe” is a corruption of

this West African name and that this man was of African descent, but we do not know for sure.